Living the car-free lifestyle is definitely agreeing with me. I treasure my 20-minute walks to and from work. I love feeling the energy of the city without any barriers insulating me.
However, as I walked home from work on Sunday through the pouring rain and stiff wind, I have to admit, I was wishing for my car Frankie just a little bit.
Yep, that's right, it seems like I just started Faust, but I'm spending my free time at home working on the next one: Katya Kabanova. I'm trying not to freak out about the fact that it's in Czech (CZECH!). Despite having been to Prague twice (it's one my all-time favorite places), I can barely order a beer in the language. So for now, I'm studying. A lot.
Far from my stuff and my loved ones, it's the little things that make me feel at home. Even a candle helps.
There is an amazing farmers market in downtown Chicago, just blocks from where I live. I spent a lovely Thursday morning exploring the goods and came home with lots of treats: luscious ears of sweet corn, perfectly ripe tomatoes, artisanal bread, yummy leeks, sweet cippolini onions, fragrant basil, and delicious honeycrisp apples.
Yet another shot of this incredible city at night.
I like living on the 36th floor because it makes me feel fancy. Also, have I mentioned the view?
Currently my nighttime snack of choice. When I can resist the siren song of Ben and his friend Jerry, that is.
One of the best parts of my day is walking home through downtown at the end of the work day. I take my time, strolling at a leisurely pace, trying little variations to my route, often with my camera out. Sometimes even while experimenting with manual focus. Whoa.
I've been taking advantage of the Art Institute's free Thursday evenings when I can, and it's really the best way to do it. When I pay to go to a museum, I feel obliged to get my money's worth, and I end up enjoying myself less. When it's free, I'm happy to pop in and see whatever I feel like and leave when I want to. At the moment they have a gorgeous special exhibit of Japanese screens. I'd love to fill my home with these.
It's really not a very good story—a lot of back and forth with apartment management involving a mailbox key that didn't work on my mailbox. The important part of the story is that after 12 (TWELVE!) days of not being able to check my mail, I finally did, and this is what I found. Sweet, sweet Netflix.
Another weekend, another incredible dinner with friends new and old. Apparently the pianists in this city are all gourmet chefs. Maybe the ones in Houston should follow suit. Hint, hint.
For anyone out there who's BK (Baby Krazy), I highly recommend checking out the fountains at Millennium Park on a warm day—they will be FILLED with children playing in the water. These 2 cuties came from a set of identical red-haired triplets, impossible to photograph all at the same time because they were moving around so much. Telephoto lenses were made for taking pictures of other people's adorable children. What, is that weird?
Every night when I get home, I raise the blinds and look out over this glorious nighttime view. I love feeling the city all around me.
I was having trouble cuddling on the couch without my kitten or my CameraMan, so CM sent me my very own softest blanket in the world. You'd be surprised how much it helped.
A ridiculous evening at the Museum of Contemporary Art with the Best Friend resulted in many failed pickup lines (theirs, not ours), mediocre food, and just a little dash of art. This picture is of a light and water installation that caught my fancy.
CameraMan came for the holiday weekend, and we spent the first evening at Navy Pier with the New Oregonian. Navy Pier is lots of fun on a warm summer night: funnel cakes and fireworks and ferris wheels, oh my!
CM introduced me to some great foodie/pianist friends over an incredible meal. This is just the dessert: homemade peach ice cream with roasted peaches. I'll be dreaming about this one for quite some time.
We tried out a new Houston restaurant, the Broken Spoke Cafe. Moules frites and a Stella…delicious!
My first night in Chicago, just taking in the breathtaking view from my 36th floor apartment window. I think I can handle this for a few months.
And then I forgot to take a picture. So I'm changing it up a little. Instead of a self-portrait of me looking ashamed for missing a day, here's a bonus pic of the Bossy Cat in the car. I miss my baby.
A trip to Houston always has to include a trip to see Caroline at White Salon, the best hair stylist I have ever had (do you live in Houston? Go see her!). This visit, it was time for a change. Et voila: the new, improved LMB.
I was only home for a few days, during which I attempted to fit in visits to all my favorite restaurants. Drinks and nibbles at t'afia hit the spot. Here's CameraMan with a very pink drink inexplicably named Come to Daddy.
Nobody was happier to be home than my sweet kitten, here seen in a joyful reunion with our amazing couch.
My boys: the chorus men of Cenerentola. I miss these guys.
The road trip back to Houston got off to a rough start with the Bossy Cat getting sick, but by the second day she was feeling just fine. In fact, we drove 15 1/2 hours on Monday.
By Tuesday, she was taking her turn driving.
My summer roomie PiGuy is a world-famous karaoke singer, so when he invited me to sing a duet with him at the last Karaoke Night of the summer, how could I turn him down? I couldn't, as it turned out. "Come What May" from Moulin Rouge, if you're wondering.
We had a bit of an LU reunion at Glimglam during Performance #11. From left to right, we have Yum-Yum, Maestra Koestner, Nanki-Poo, and another Yum-Yum from The Mikado circa 2002. Oh, the memories.
All packed to go home—nothing left in the closet except my outfit for the closing performance.
Screen doors are incredibly enticing to the Bossy Cat, what with all the bugs and animals just inches away yet untouchable.
Princess J and I put on pretty dresses and went to Alex & Ika's for one last dinner. We even splurged on the 15-minute dessert.
LMHC and beautiful Shelby met up with me in Dickson City, PA, halfway between our two houses. We had lunch, shared lots of girl talk, and listened to Shelby doing her latest thing, squawking like a duck.